Housing ‘rumours’ in Belper are dismissed

A councillor has dismissed ‘rumours’ that a plot of land in Belper is being developed for housing and has moved to allay fears among local residents in the town.

Councillor Alan Cox says there has been a flurry of rumours regarding potential housing developments on the site of Bessalone Hill.

However, Councillor Cox insists that the site remains part of the green belt and that, for the time being, there are no plans in the pipeline to develop the site.

He says it is ‘unlikely’ that there will be any development on the site before 2028 - under the terms of the current Core Strategy

Cllr Cox told the Belper News: “There have been increasing rumours about the possibility of land at Bessalone Hill in Belper being developed for housing.

“I can assure the residents of Belper that these rumours are exactly that and are simply rumours.

“The facts of the matter are that JC Balls and Sons, the owners of the land, have applied to have the site allocated in the Strategic Housing Land Allocation Availability (SHLAA) for possible future development.

“This document is held as a list of sites which may be available for development in the future.

“The current Core Strategy, which is under consideration, covers all housing development up to the year 2028.

“There is no reference to the Bessalone site in this document. Therefore it is unlikely that there will be any development on this site before that date.

“The land is in the green belt, whose primary purpose is to stop communities, in this case Belper and Heage, coalescing into one.

“This is a very important consideration to be taken into account before any land is allocated for development.”

The councillor, who is not standing for re-election this week, was quick to clear up that clients were free to submit planning applications for the site.

Cllr Cox added: “In spite of these restrictions on development , there is nothing to prevent anyone from submitting a planning application for this site.

“If this happens then there will be a full consultation to follow.”